Supporting Parents – Access and Affordability

Catholic education is strongly committed to the principles of social justice and the dignity of the human person. Catholic schools make it a priority, therefore, to create an environment in which all parents and families feel welcomed, valued and supported.

In particular, every effort is made to support and empower students with additional learning needs.

Support is available for students newly arrived in Australia and for families who are more comfortable communicating in a language other than English.
 
For families experiencing financial difficulties, the information in this section outlines a range of opportunities for assistance.

Government support1

The Victorian Government Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) provides payments to assist eligible families (holders of valid means-tested concession cards or temporary foster parents) to cover the costs of school trips, camps and sporting activities. The annual amount per student is currently $125 (primary school) and $225 (secondary school).

For more information, first contact your child’s school. If further information is required, see https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/Pages/csef.aspx.

Public transport concessions

In Victoria, all students aged 18 and under can travel on public transport at a concession rate using a Child myki, with only those aged 17 and 18 required to carry government-issued proof of age ID or proof of concession entitlement. All students are eligible to apply for a PTV School Student ID, which is necessary for purchasing a Victorian Student Pass.

Transport

In country areas and some outer metropolitan areas, students who reside 4.8 km or more from their nearest Catholic school may be eligible for transport assistance. In locations where there is not enough demand to run a free school bus service, the Victorian Government provides a conveyance allowance to help with travel costs.

For more information, first contact your child’s school. If further information is required, see www.ptv.vic.gov.au/tickets/fares/concession/school-students
or: www.ptv.vic.gov.au/getting-around/school-buses.

1 At the time of publication, the details in this section were correct. You should check the relevant website for current allowances and eligibility requirements.

School support

Fees

If you have any concerns regarding payment of school fees or charges, you are encouraged to discuss these with the principal of your child’s school. Where appropriate, you will be able to make alternative payment arrangements. It is not helpful to ignore notices of request for payment.

Interpreting and translating services

All schools are able to provide access to interpreting and translating services free of charge. Parents of students from non-English-speaking backgrounds may request schools to provide interpreters for parent–teacher interviews and information sessions. Schools are also able to use the service to translate school notices.

Scholarships

Some Catholic schools offer scholarships for prospective students and those already in attendance. You may contact your child’s school for more information.

Uniforms

Your child’s school determines the uniform to be worn by all students. In addition, a sports uniform will usually be required. In some schools, parents can buy new or second-hand uniforms through a uniform shop. You may contact your child’s school for more information.

Textbooks, equipment and ICT

Some textbooks, stationery and equipment will be provided by the school and a charge levied to the parent. Each student will be given a list of textbooks and equipment required. Many schools assist parents to buy and sell second-hand books. You may contact your child’s school for more information.

Out of School Hours Care (OSHC)

Some of our schools offer before and after-school care and school holiday programs. You may contact your child’s school for more information. Parents using these services may also be able to access the Australian Government Child Care Subsidy.